Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ALTAR OF FLIES "Kill the Lights" (ESR)

More from prolific Swedish artist Mattias Gustafsson. "Kill the Lights" has a little bit of everything in the Altar of Flies repertoire: minimal buzzing and drone, chaotic dark distortion and pulsating bass. The best section on side A, which unfortunately cuts off at the end of the reel, is a layered work with a spastic, screeching oscillator of some sort (I've been wrong about these things before) over a clouded bank of...something. Side B shows a fiercer side of what could be the same instrument with a liberal dose of mutilated distortion, then slows to a series of low-end waves contrasted with minimal high pitched circuit abuse, not entirely dissimilar to Hive Mind's recent output. The c30 format gives plenty of space for Gustafsson to experiment with a wide variety of techniques and styles, some harsh and some reserved, and it's obvious that he's learned ways to pace a recording by now. "Kill the Lights" is a well-produced recording and all of the individual elements are audible even if the overall volume is somewhat low. The insert is full-color on a nice glossy stock. Fans of synth-based noise would do well to check out this artist.